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Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder, FanDuel
Each week I take a look at every NFL game in an attempt to identify players that can be stacked together to maximize value in GPP play at FanDuel and DraftKings. I examine the spreads and totals for each game as well as the implied totals for each team and blend that with the likeliest script that these games will follow. In doing so, I attempt to find players that can pay dividends for your lineup. In some cases, I will also provide a pivot within the stack to another player and give reasons as to why a pivot might make sense. You can use this information as a guide, and you will have multiple options to help you to sort through the noise while you put lineups together that can offer a degree of security.
FanDuel: Ryan ($7,900) + Jones ($8,400) = $16,300
DraftKings: Ryan ($6,700) + Jones ($8,000) = $14,700
Facing the No. 30 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 31 ranked pass defense allowing 290.9 yards per game
Game Total - 51.5
Implied Totals - Falcons at 28 points and Buccaneers at 23.5 points
Game Line - Atlanta Falcons -4.5
The Atlanta Falcons are at home this weekend as they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday for a Week 12 NFC South matchup. This game carries the highest total of the week (51.5), and points are expected here. The Falcons are expected to hit four touchdowns in the game, and it is not all that difficult to see Ryan and the Falcons receiving weapons getting the Falcons over the total in this game as the Buccaneers are struggling on defense.
Ryan has thrown for 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions through nine games. He has thrown for 2663 yards, and on the ground, he has accumulated 77 yards to go with one score. He missed the Week 8 game versus Seattle due to an injury and returned in Week 10 on the road in New Orleans.
He also played last week on the road in Carolina, and he is questionable this week with an ankle injury, but there is every expectation that he will play this week. The Falcons appear to be giving Ryan a maintenance day on Wednesdays, and you will want to see him practice this week before rostering him.
The Buccaneers have allowed 25 scores through the air which are second-most in the NFL. They have surrendered a 7.6-yard average which is tenth-highest in the league. They have also yielded 40 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only six teams in the NFL allow more. They have also given up nine passing plays of 40-plus yards which are fourth-most in the NFL.
The Lions have struggled to generate pressure on the quarterback, registering only 22 sacks to date. Only six teams in the league have fewer sacks in 2019. The Falcons have very dangerous receiving weapons, and they can hurt the Buccaneers vertically if Ryan has time in the pocket to allow deeper routes to develop.
Jones is the first option in the Falcons passing attack. He has 38 targets over the past four games, catching 25 passes for 415 yards over that span. He has not scored in that span, but he should have opportunities to get into the end zone against a porous Buccaneers defense. He is a problematic receiver to cover with his size and route-running abilities, and the Buccaneers will have their hands full this week.
The Ryan and Jones stack is an excellent GPP option for Week 12, and one that could pay off in a big way. However, Jones is questionable with a foot injury as of this writing, and you will want to pay attention to his status throughout the week to guarantee he will play on Sunday.
Pivot: Wide receiver Calvin Ridley ($6,700 at FanDuel and $6,500 at DraftKings) is an excellent option for GPP play this week due to the matchup and the game script. He is an intriguing contrarian play if you want to fade Jones and his foot injury, and just last week, he saw eight targets against Carolina. He caught eight passes for 143 yards and a score.
Tight end Jaeden Graham ($4,500 at FanDuel and $3,300 at DraftKings) is worth a dart throw as the Buccaneers struggle to cover the tight end. He can get to GPP value fairly quickly at his price, and he represents savings you can spend elsewhere.
FanDuel: Mayfield ($7,500) + Landry ($6,900) = $14,400
DraftKings: Mayfield ($5,900) + Landry ($6,300) = $12,200
Facing the No. 32 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 20 ranked pass defense allowing 246 yards per game
Game Total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Browns at 27.5 points and Dolphins at 17 points
Game Line - Cleveland Browns -10.5
The Cleveland Browns are at home versus the Miami Dolphins for a Week 12 AFC contest, and they are a 10.5-point home favorite in this matchup. The implied number for the Browns has them almost at four scores (27.5), and there should be opportunities for them in this contest. The Browns have the opportunity to put up big numbers against an underperforming Dolphins defense this week.
Mayfield and the Browns passing game have underperformed in 2019, but there are signs of life, and this matchup comes along at a perfect time. Mayfield has generated five touchdowns over the past two games, four coming via the pass and one coming on a one-yard run last week. Mayfield should post great numbers versus the Dolphins in week 12.
The Dolphins have given up 23 scores through the air which are fourth-most in the NFL. They allow an 8.1-yard average which is fifth-highest in the NFL. They have given up 42 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are fifth-most in the NFL.
The Dolphins have defended an average of 31.5 passes per game, and only five teams in the NFL have defended fewer passes per game. The Dolphins have given up significant numbers to the pass even though they are not defending a lot of volume, and that means there are opportunities for the Browns passing game even if the script might not be indicating a heavy load for the receivers.
Landry has emerged as one of the primary options in the Browns passing attack, and he has seen 40 targets over the past four games. He has caught 24 passes for 256 yards, and he has scored three touchdowns in that span. He will have opportunities to extend his hot streak and get into the end zone again in Week 12.
Note that Landry is questionable for Week 12 with a hip injury, and you will want to see him practice during the week to guarantee he is playing on Sunday.
Pivot: Wide receiver Odell Beckham ($7,000 at FanDuel and $7,000 at DraftKings) is an explosive weapon and a fantastic playmaker for the Browns offense, but he has stalled a touch and is not yet making big plays consistently. There is a path to GPP value for Beckham, but to be of value, he needs to make plays that result in touchdowns. Again, the Dolphins come along at a good time for the Browns passing attack.
Beckham is also questionable for this week with a groin injury. Monitor the practice reports throughout the rest of the week to make sure he plays this week.
Sam Darnold + Robby Anderson
FanDuel: Darnold ($7,400) + Anderson ($5,400) = $12,800
DraftKings: Darnold ($5,800) + Anderson ($4,800) = $10,600
Facing the No. 23 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 27 ranked pass defense allowing 262.2 yards per game
Game Total - 46.5
Implied Totals - Jets at 22 points and Raiders at 25 points
Game Line - Oakland Raiders -3
The New York Jets are at home versus the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for a Week 12 AFC matchup. There is risk with this stack as the Jets are forecast only to score a shade over three touchdowns, and they will need to score more than that to be worthy of GPP consideration, but I think they will, and that means there is value in stacking players that outperform their price.
Darnold has been up and down in 2019, throwing for 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the seven games he has started. In a general sense, he has lit up teams that struggle to defend the pass, and he has played poorly against teams that can defend the pass. He draws a very favorable matchup in Week 12, facing a team that has been torched by the pass in 2019.
The Raiders have given up 24 scores through the air which are third-most in the NFL. They are surrendering an 8.2-yard average which is fourth-highest in the NFL. The Raiders have given up 48 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are second-most in the NFL. They have also yielded 11 passing plays of 40-plus yards which are second-most across the league. Darnold can eat up this defense, and he has an opportunity to have a big game on Sunday.
Anderson is one of the game’s best vertical options as he can take the top off the defense in a flash. He can score from distance and generate production quickly, and he will have opportunities in Week 12. However, he is not seeing much volume and is super-dependent on the vertical, down the field type play.
There are multiple levels of risk at play when considering this stack, and all need to be looked at before rostering it. The Jets implied number is three scores, and while potent, the Raiders offense might not force the Jets to keep throwing the ball. In a perfect scenario, the Raiders score points on the Jets at a pace that makes them throw the ball all over the place on Sunday.
Also, Anderson has not seen the kind of volume that makes one confident in rostering him. There is a leap of faith required here, one that sees Anderson scoring a long touchdown or two, but if he can do that, he will be an outstanding GPP play in Week 12.
Pivot: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder ($6,500 at FanDuel and $6,200 at DraftKings) is the first option in the Jets passing attack. He has 28 targets in the past four games, and he has caught 21 passes for 264 yards while scoring three touchdowns in that span. He is a safer option than Anderson, but his price is reflective of that.
Tight end Ryan Griffin ($5,600 at FanDuel and $4,200 at DraftKings) continues to make plays in the Jets passing attack. He has seen 18 targets in the past four games, catching 16 passes for 223 yards and scoring three scores over that span. Griffin is an excellent GPP option in this matchup.
FanDuel: Haskins ($6,700) + McLaurin ($5,800) = $12,500
DraftKings: Haskins ($4,900) + McLaurin ($6,000) = $10,900
Facing the No. 24 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 30 ranked pass defense allowing 288.6 yards per game
Game Total - 42.5
Implied Totals - Redskins at 19.5 points and Lions at 23 points
Game Line - Washington Redskins +3.5
The Washington Redskins are at home versus the Detroit Lions for a Week 12 NFC contest, and they are a 3.5-point home underdog in this matchup. The Lions are having trouble stopping everyone, and Haskins and company should welcome the Lions to their home field this week. This stack is not for the faint-hearted as it is incredibly risky.
Haskins has very much played like a rookie in 2019 as he has looked confused, unable to move the offense. He looked good last week at home versus the Jets, throwing for 215 yards and two touchdowns, and he has a chance to build on that success this week against a very poor Lions defense.
The Lions have given up 22 scores through the air which are fifth-most in the NFL. They allow a 7.9-yard average which is seventh-highest across the league. They have given up 47 passing plays of 20-plus yards which are third-most in the NFL. They have also given up eight passing plays of 40-plus yards which are sixth-most in the NFL.
Volume should be easy to come by for Haskins as the Lions have defended the third-most passes on a per-game basis (38.2). Another consideration here is the Lions cannot pressure the quarterback. The Lions have generated 20 sacks in 2019, and only three teams in the NFL have fewer sacks in 2019.
Haskins should have time in the pocket, and that time will let routes develop in this game, and that is generally a positive thing for rookie quarterbacks. The Lions have allowed receivers to run free in their secondary throughout the 2019 season, but they are struggling right now.
The Redskins receivers should be able to exploit the Lions secondary with that expanded time. The Lions have been a balm for underperforming offenses in 2019, and Haskins and the Redskins receiving options have a chance to generate excellent production in Week 12.
In Week 7, the Lions gave up 338 yards and four scores to Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. In Week 8, they surrendered 322 yards and four touchdowns to Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr hit the Lions for 289 yards and two scores.
Three weeks ago, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Consider how much Trubisky was struggling at the time, and it stands out what he was able to do to the Lions secondary. Last week, the Lions were torched by Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as he went for 444 yards and three scores. This week it is Haskins’ turn, and you can see the opportunity in front of him.
McLaurin is a big play waiting to happen, and he has shown his ability to win vertically throughout his rookie season. The Lions are giving up big plays weekly, and McLaurin has an opportunity to shine in Week 12. There is a definitive path to GPP success for him against the Lions, and he might be one of the better GPP plays in Week 12.
There is risk here too as the Redskins have a low implied number, and the expectation is they score fewer than three touchdowns. If the Lions slow down the game with their ground attack, we will see a reduction in possessions for Washington, and that lowers the ceiling for all the passing game options.
Also, if the Lions offense cannot get to their implied number, there is no reason for the Redskins to open up their vertical passing attack. I think we will see both offenses forced to throw, and I believe there is value here, but you need to understand the risk before rostering any Redskins player.
Pivot: Wide receiver Paul Richardson Jr ($5,000 at FanDuel and $4,000 at DraftKings) is questionable with a hamstring injury, and he missed last week’s game with the same issue. He is a secondary option, but secondary options have consistently beaten up on the Lions over the last bunch of games. He is a reliable option in GPP play if he gets cleared to play, but there is a risk of re-injury too.
Wide receiver Trey Quinn ($4,700 at FanDuel and $3,600 at DraftKings) is an intriguing option in Week 12 if Richardson misses the game. He will see enough target volume to warrant consideration if Richardson scratches.
Jeff Driskel + Marvin Jones
FanDuel: Driskel ($7,300) + Jones ($7,200) = $14,500
DraftKings: Driskel ($5,500) + Jones ($6,100) = $11,600
Facing the No. 26 ranked DVOA pass defense and the No. 16 ranked pass defense allowing 235.6 yards per game
Game Total - 42.5
Implied Totals - Lions at 23 points and Redskins at 19.5 points
Game Line - Detroit Lions -3.5
The Detroit Lions are on the road versus the Washington Redskins for a Week 12 NFC contest, and they are a 3.5-point road favorite in this matchup. There is tremendous risk in rostering any Lions passing game option, but there might be an opportunity for more offense than some think. The Redskins have yielded a bunch of touchdowns via the pass in 2019, and Driskel will have a chance to hit them this week.
Driskel stepped in for injured starting quarterback Matthew Stafford two weeks ago, and he has filled in admirably. He has totaled four touchdowns in his two starts, three coming from the pass and one as a runner. The rushing numbers boost Driskel’s floor, and he will continue to generate numbers as a runner in Week 12.
The Redskins have given up 19 scores through the air which are seventh-most in the NFL. They allow a 7.9-yard average which is seventh-highest across the league. They have given up 36 passing plays of 20-plus yards, and only eleven teams have yielded more of these plays. They have also given up six passing plays of 40-plus yards, and eleven teams in the NFL have allowed more.
Now consider that the Redskins have only defended 31.5 passes per game (four teams across the league have defended fewer), and those numbers show how easy they are to beat with the pass. Another consideration here is the Redskins struggle to pressure the quarterback, and they have generated only 23 sacks in 2019. Only seven teams in the NFL have fewer sacks in 2019.
Jones has seen 11 targets in the two games Driskel has started, and he has caught nine passes for 120 yards, but he has scored two touchdowns over that span. He is getting into the end zone, and there is significant value in that. The script is favorable for the Lions passing attack, and Jones has a chance to shine in Week 12.
Note the considerable risk in stacking Driskel and any Lions receiving options. The Lions offense looked solid last week versus Dallas, but the Cowboys offense forced the Lions to utilize the pass to stay in the game. The hope is that the Redskins offense can do similar this week, but there is risk there, because that may not happen.
The Lions may get up in this game and go run-heavy to shorten the game. There is little upside in GPP play if that happens, and that risk must be understood before deciding to roster this stack.
Pivot: Wide receiver Kenny Golladay ($7,800 at FanDuel and $6,600 at DraftKings) has seen 14 targets in Driskel’s two games. However, he has only caught four passes and totaled 91 yards while scoring one touchdown. Golladay is a reasonable GPP play, but he is expensive and adds more risk as he and Driskel have not been on the same page.
Wide receiver Danny Amendola ($5,700 at FanDuel and $4,400 at DraftKings) has 13 targets in Driskel’s two games. He is worthy of a flier in the Lions matchup versus Washington due to his price and the fact he sees similar volume to the Lions other weapons.
Nick Chubb + Browns Defense
FanDuel: Chubb ($8,200) + Browns ($4,500) = $12,700
DraftKings: Chubb ($8,100) + Browns ($3,800) = $11,900
Facing the No. 29 ranked DVOA rush defense and the No. 31 ranked run defense allowing 148.3 yards per game
Game Total - 44.5
Implied Totals - Browns at 27.5 points and Dolphins at 17 points
Game Line - Cleveland Browns -10.5
The Cleveland Browns are at home versus the Miami Dolphins on Sunday for a Week 12 AFC matchup. The Browns are a 10.5-point home favorite, and they should be able to take advantage of the Dolphins defense via the run on Sunday. Chubb could have a massive game versus the Dolphins in Week 12 as the game script is extremely favorable for the Browns running game.
The Dolphins allow a 4.7-yard average, and only six teams across the league allow a higher average. The Dolphins have allowed nine scores on the ground, and only 13 teams league-wide have surrendered more. They have also yielded nine runs of 20-plus yards which are third-most in the NFL. Also, they have yielded two runs of 40-plus yards, and only five teams in the NFL have allowed more.
The Dolphins are starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he tends to put the ball into dangerous spots on the field which means there are chances for turnovers, etc., as Fitzpatrick has thrown eight interceptions in the nine games he has played. Also, the Browns can pressure the quarterback, and Fitzpatrick will take sacks, and pressure can bring turnovers into play for the defense.
The Dolphins have surrendered the most sacks (42) in the NFL, and the game script has the Browns up and forcing the Dolphins to open up the offense and throw the ball to stay in the game. There will be opportunities for the Browns defense to take advantage of the Dolphins offense this week.
The script calls for the Browns to jump out to a lead, and that will force the Dolphins to utilize their passing attack to stay in the game. Fitzpatrick can be a liability as a passer, and if he is forced to throw a lot here, it means the potential for fantasy points via sacks and turnovers for the Browns defense.
We will likely see the Browns up and prioritizing the running game to run out the clock while forcing the Dolphins to throw the ball to hang in this contest. That means great things for this stack, and it has a chance to put up big numbers on Sunday, making it an excellent option for GPP play in Week 12.
Alvin Kamara + Saints Defense
FanDuel: Kamara ($8,300) + Saints ($4,900) = $13,200
DraftKings: Kamara ($8,200) + Saints ($3,300) = $11,500
Facing the No. 32 ranked DVOA rush defense and the No. 27 ranked run defense allowing 128.4 yards per game
Game Total - 47
Implied Totals - Saints at 28 points and Panthers at 19 points
Game Line - New Orleans Saints -9.5
The New Orleans Saints are at home versus the Carolina Panthers on Sunday for a Week 12 NFC South matchup. The Saints are a 10.5-point home favorite, and I suspect the Saints running backs will be exhausted after this game because a heavy workload is coming.
The Panthers allow a 4.9-yard average which is the fourth-highest average allowed in the NFL in 2019. The Panthers have allowed 18 scores in the ground which are most in the NFL and most by a wide margin. The Bengals have given up 13 touchdowns, and they have yielded the second-most rushing scores to date.
They have surrendered 12 runs of 20-plus yards which are second-most in the NFL. Lastly, the Panthers have yielded four runs that have gone for 40-plus yards, and those are also second-most in the NFL.
The Panthers have only defended 26.4 runs per game, and that is the sixteen-highest number in the NFL. Teams have put up outrageous numbers while running the ball on the Panthers; they aren’t doing it through volume to this point.
However, the game script is calling for a heavy dose of running by the Saints in this game, and Kamara has a chance to have a massive game on Sunday. The Panthers have not stopped a decent running game with an average workload, and they are going to defend an enormous workload this weekend.
The Panthers have surrendered the seventh-most sacks (34) in the NFL, and the game script has the Saints up, forcing Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen to keep the Panthers in the game. Allen has struggled of late, throwing nine interceptions in the last four games, and the Saints will get pressure to Allen, and that could lead to sacks and turnovers, and more.
Kamara is a fantastic runner and one of the best receiving options out of the backfield in the NFL. He is again one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the league, and he and the Saints make an excellent stack for GPP play in Week 12.